2016 Oscars Nominations and Predictions

The long movie awards season is finally coming to an end with the Oscars tonight. It’s been an interesting awards season to say the least. Usually by now, after all the critics and guild awards, you pretty much know who’s going to win at the Oscars. But this year, there’s a lot that is up in the air (except for two, that are 95% sure things) and that’s pretty exciting…or as exciting as an Oscar show can be.

BEST PICTURE

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Before the nominations were announced, I had already seen 6 of the 8 films nominated, so I was so happy to be ahead of the game this year. It’s been a really strong year for movies, but I can’t even begin to express how disappointed I am that even with the possibility of 10 nominated films, there were a number of REALLY GREAT movies (and actors) that got snubbed. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy is so disheartening and really deserves its own post, so I’m not going to dwell on it here.

Focusing on the nominees at hand, it really is the most exciting Best Picture race in years. We’ve had years where one movie leads the pack throughout the entire awards season making things rather anti-climactic come Oscar night. Most years we have two movies (maayyybe three) that go back and forth in the standings. This year, we’ve got four solid front-runners, with a couple underdogs. My personal pick to win is Spotlight and its got a SAG Award win for Best Ensemble behind it, among other accolades. Like the journalists at the center of the story, Spotlight was about the facts, it was to the point, no frills, effective and emotional. I had an innate feeling that this movie was going to be special before I saw it; I only wish I had gotten to see it sooner when it premiered at TIFF. Now I understand the appeal of the three other front-runners with big guild and critics wins. The Big Short, which won the Producers’ Guild, is without a doubt a really good movie, that makes a boring topic entertaining. The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road, even with all their technical accomplishments, are just movies I can’t get behind and they just weren’t movies I was into. On the other hand, Brooklyn, The Martian and Room were all movies I loved, all for different reasons; but of those three, I believe Room has the better chance of rising beyond its underdog status in the category. Bridge of Spies, though a very solid movie in the very classic sense, may be a little too old school in its way to make much impact.

BEST ACTOR

  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

One of the surest bets of this awards season is that Leonardo DiCaprio will undoubtedly win his first Oscar. Though I admire his performance in the movie, I don’t think it’s anywhere close to being his best, but he’s overdue for a win, so all the signs lead to Leo. I unfortunately haven’t seen Trumbo, so I can’t comment on Bryan Cranston’s performance. Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender were really wonderful in their films. Eddie Redmayne, once again got a transformative role, that is pure Oscar-bait, but back-to-back wins seems unlikely (even though there is precedent, but come on…)

BEST ACTRESS

  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

For a while, the race seemed to be between Brie Larson and Saoirse Ronan, and in my mind, it still is, namely because I can’t decide who I want to see win. Both actresses gave incredible performances that made me cry, and I’m not usually one who cries watching movies and shows. But as the season went on, it’s looking more and more like this is Larson’s to lose. That’s not to say Cate Blanchett wasn’t fabulous as usual in Carol. Same goes with Jennifer Lawrence in Joy, even though it really bothered me that she was supposed to be playing someone way older than she actually is (though that’s more of a movie issue than a J.Law issue). And then there’s Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years, which I didn’t see.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed

A case can be made for any of the actors nominated here, though in such a competitive category, there could’ve been an entirely different list of nominees and it still would’ve been amazing. Early on in the season, Mark Rylance was looking like the frontrunner, but that was before Creed came into play and Sylvester Stallone is now looking like the sentimental favourite. I would love to see Mark Ruffalo win, not just because of my love for Spotlight, but because I think Ruffalo doesn’t get enough recognition for all his work and he really deserves it here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

“Category fraud” aside, I want Alicia Vikander to win. She was just incredibly fantastic in The Danish Girl (not to mention Ex Machina) and she’s just going to be such a huge star going forward. Jennifer Jason Leigh is surprisingly a first-time Oscar nominee, but again, I haven’t watched Hateful Eight so I can’t comment. Kate Winslet is great as usual in Steve Jobs, but she’s already a winner. I hate to count out my Canadian girl Rachel McAdams, whom I love in just about every movie she’s done, but I think she’ll win only if there’s an overwhelming love for Spotlight; her day will come eventually. Rooney Mara did some incredible work herself in Carol, working alongside Cate Blanchett, and she’s the one that’ll give Vikander a run for the Oscar win.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

I think one of the most surprising things about this list of nominees is that Ridley Scott was left off of it, for his great work on The Martian. I was among the many who thought he was a lock for a nomination and even possibly a win. With the omission of Scott, the odds on favourite to win is George Miller, which would be a well-deserved win for the Hollywood vet but first-time nominee. Like I said before, I wasn’t really into Mad Max, but you can’t argue with the creativity involved in creating that universe on screen. If Miller doesn’t win, some are saying that overwhelming support for The Revenant could get Inarritu a back-to-back win in the category.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Ex Machina – Alex Garland
  • Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmen
  • Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
  • Straight Outta Compton – Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus

Well, two of these five screenplays are nominated for the big prize, so odds are it’s going to come down to Spotlight or Bridge of Spies, with Spotlight ultimately taking it. It should be noted however, that the three other screenplays in contention should also have been nominated for Best Picture because they were all amazing and inventive in their own ways. Ex Machina is such a simple thriller in concept, but a whole new take on the genre in execution. Pixar continues with its tradition of making grown adults cry with Inside Out, and honestly how can you fault them for that? Then there’s Straight Outta Compton, a biopic done right that shines a light on one of the defining rap groups of all-time.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • The Big Short – Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
  • Brooklyn – Nick Hornby
  • Carol – Phyllis Nagy
  • The Martian – Drew Goddard
  • Room – Emma Donoghue

I used to make an effort to read the books that a lot of movies are based on, but in recent years, I just haven’t had the time. Because of its seeming front-runner status, The Big Short is the favourite to win here, for turning a dull (but relevant) topic such as the financial crisis, and making an entertaining film. I do think there’s something to be said about an author adapting her own novel into a movie screenplay and succeeding, as Emma Donoghue has done with Room.

2016 Grammy Nominations & Predictions

For some, the Grammy Awards are just another awards show. However, it’s the biggest music award in the business. Say what you will, but the Grammys still hold more weight than say an MTV award. Now for all that the Grammy Awards get right in the nominations, there’s still a lot that I have issues with. I probably should’ve done this analysis when the nominations were announced, but hey, now I get to make my predictions (or alternatively, what I WANT to happen).

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
  • Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
  • Chris Stapleton, Traveller
  • Taylor Swift, 1989
  • The Weeknd, Beauty Behind the Madness

The only album I’ve actually listened to of the bunch is Beauty Behind the Madness, and as much as I like it, I don’t think it’s AOTY. I feel like it’s probably going to end up being 1989, which honestly Taylor Swift annoys me so I’d rather not have it win.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Really Love
  • Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk
  • Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud
  • Taylor Swift, Blank Space
  • The Weeknd, Can’t Feel My Face

“Uptown Funk” deserves the win, hands down. One year later and I’m still not tired of hearing it. That’s saying something.

SONG OF THE YEAR

  • “Alright” (Kendrick Lamar)
  • “Blank Space” (Taylor Swift)
  • “Girl Crush” (Little Big Town)
  • “See You Again” (Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth)
  • “Thinking Out Loud” (Ed Sheeran)

Remember, this category awards the songwriters. I’d like to see Little Big Town win it here because “Girl Crush” is just such a musically bare but well-written track. Although “Thinking Out Loud” sort of falls in the same category, the fact that it became so overplayed is causing me bias. So ideally, “Girl Crush” wins for me. If not, I’d say “See You Again” should win; you can’t help but get a little emotional when you hear it because you know what it stands for.

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • Sam Hunt
  • Tori Kelly
  • Meghan Trainor

I’m happy to say there’s no “WHO ARE YOU?” in the category. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to Courtney Barnett’s music, but I had heard her name prior to her nomination, so there’s that. Now there’s something about this category this year that makes me feel like it is drastically different from recent years. You look at last year’s nominees  and really, you just knew Sam Smith was going to win. In 2014, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won, but it could have been Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, or Kacey Musgraves; however, it didn’t really matter to me who won. Same goes with 2013 when Fun won. This year, maybe it’s because I have two artists I absolutely love nominated, which means I will be super happy if either James Bay or Tori Kelly win. I’ve been going back and forth about this, but ideally I think I want Tori to win, with James winning for his other categories – that way it spreads the love and recognition!

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • Kelly Clarkson, Heartbeat Song
  • Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do
  • Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud
  • Taylor Swift, Blank Space
  • The Weeknd, Can’t Feel My Face

Do you even have to ask? I want Kelly Clarkson to win, duh! Second choice would be The Weeknd.

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

  • Florence + The Machine, Ship to Wreck
  • Maroon 5, Sugar
  • Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk
  • Taylor Swift ft. Kendrick Lamar, Bad Blood
  • Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth, See You Again

This is the one category where I’m really conflicted. First choice is Maroon 5, obviously, because I’m forever a M5 fan. I love “Sugar” so frickin’ much and it just always instantly puts a smile on my face when I hear it. “Uptown Funk” is second, because like I said before, it’s still a great song to listen to. “See You Again” is my third because again, still a great song but miscategorized – should’ve been in Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. “Ship to Wreck” really has no faults, I just haven’t listened to it enough. And then “Bad Blood” is just whatever.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Kelly Clarkson, Piece by Piece
  • Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • James Taylor, Before This World
  • Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
  • Taylor Swift, 1989

Odds are 1989 takes it (*groan*). Ideally, Piece by Piece wins. I however, wouldn’t be surprised if James Taylor ends up winning because the Grammys can still surprise sometimes.

BEST ROCK SONG

  • “Don’t Wanna Fight” (Alabama Shakes)
  • “Ex’s & Oh’s” (Elle King)
  • “Hold Back the River” (James Bay)
  • “Lydia” (Highly Suspect)
  • “What Kind of Man” (Florence + The Machine)

Like SOTY, this awards the songwriters (now that I think of it, I’m surprised there isn’t a Pop category equivalent). I don’t know who Highly Suspect are and I don’t listen to Alabama Shakes, which leaves Elle King, James Bay, and Florence. And as stated above, I want James to win, not that there’s anything wrong with the other two, just preference.

BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM

  • An American in Paris
  • Fun Home
  • Hamilton
  • The King and I
  • Something Rotten!

All well-deserved nominations, but let’s be real, Hamilton is TOTALLY winning this one. Not to mention, they get to perform during the telecast? Just give it to them already.

BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA

  • Empire: Season 1
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Selma

As much as I love Pitch Perfect 2, I don’t think the soundtrack stacks up as well as the first movie. I say Empire takes it.

BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA

  • “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “Glory” from Selma
  • “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “See You Again” from Furious 7
  • “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground

For the category to say Visual Media, I’ve noticed that there aren’t many nominations from TV. To consider, we have two songs from Fifty Shades of Grey nominated, but nothing from Empire. Not even “You’re So Beautiful”? Really? Lame. All for naught though, because I’m pretty sure “Glory” is going to win, with “See You Again” coming in as a close second.

Other Notable Nominations (or the other nominations that I care about):

  • James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm for Best Rock Album!
  • Amy Poehler is nominated in Best Spoken Word Album for the audiobook of Yes Please. In other words, I think Amy’s winning a Grammy before she wins an Emmy
  • Pentatonix is nominated again in the Best Arrangement category. This time, it’s for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from their That’s Christmas to Me album.

To summarize this post, I want all my faves to win (duh) and I’d rather not see Taylor Swift win, even though she probably will. Also, so excited to see James Bay and Tori Kelly perform together during the show! AND, it’s too early to call but Adele is just going to win all the awards next year right? Like no question? 🙂

Looking Ahead to the 2013 Grammys

I don’t often write posts looking ahead to events and making predictions, but then a funny thing happened. While watching TV with my family a few weeks ago, Canadian network CTV aired a promo for the re-release of Katy Perry’s album Teenage Dream and I said to my siblings “Look at that! Music sucks so much right now, that they have to advertise an album that has essentially, been out for 2 years” (the re-release itself has been out for months.) To which my brother responded, “It does suck…So what are they gonna do for the awards stuff?” My brother, for the record, could care less about the Grammys (or any other awards shows for that matter), but for him to make such an observation, that’s kind of a big deal. And so the question is: With pop music not being entirely great this past year, what will come of the Grammys with its focus being on appealing to the mainstream audience?

*NOTE: My music knowledge is far greater in the pop category, so forgive me if my focus is on pop music*

Generally speaking, in terms of the overall Grammys, it is in my honest (and slightly biased) opinion that Kelly Clarkson will come out on top when nominations are announced. Stronger was such a great album, not to mention the title track itself is one of the best songs all year (that you’re probably still not sick and tired of hearing). After Kelly, I think Coldplay’s a pretty solid bet for nominations for their album Mylo Xyloto, as well as Grammy favourite John Mayer for Born and Raised.

The category that scares/worries me the most, as has been the case for the past few years, is Best New Artist. I feel like it gets harder and harder to determine who the best new artist is, because there hasn’t really been a standout new artist. I mean last year, Bon Iver won, where he was up against Nicki Minaj, The Band Perry, J-Cole, and Skrillex. If it wasn’t for the fact that he had won a Grammy at the 2011 show, I would’ve bet my money on Bruno Mars being nominated and winning the category; but he did win, making him ineligible in the category for 2012, per Grammy rules. Guesses for who could potentially be nominated? I think Ed Sheeran has made enough of an impact to garner a nod and even a win. Representing Country, I’m going to take a wild guess and say Thompson Square or Hunter Hayes (based purely on observation). Representing Hip-Hop, I wonder if Childish Gambino can sneak in there. Which means 2 spots left, that could go to any of the following who had hit singles this past year: fun., Ellie Goulding, Carly Rae Jepsen, One Direction, Karmin, Gotye.

So some predictions (however off-base they will probably be) in some of the categories:

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
  • Coldplay, Princess of China [ft. Rihanna]
  • Jason Mraz, I Won’t Give Up

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto
  • John Mayer, Born and Raised
  • Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
  • Miranda Lambert, Four the Record

BEST SOLO POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
  • Jason Mraz, I Won’t Give Up
  • Adele, Set Fire to the Rain
  • John Mayer, Shadow Days
  • Ed Sheeran, The A-Team

BEST POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE BY A DUO/GROUP

  • Maroon 5, One More Night
  • Coldplay, Princess of China [ft. Rihanna]
  • Taylor Swift, Safe and Sound [ft. The Civil Wars] —> I really think they’re going to put this under pop, if nominated, just because the Grammys can be weird when it comes to this category

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Kelly Clarkson, Stronger
  • Maroon 5, Overexposed
  • Florence + the Machine, Ceremonials
  • Jason Mraz, Love is a Four Letter Word
  • John Mayer, Born and Raised

The Grammy nominations will be announced live on their annual Nomination Concert on December 5th, airing on CBS. Taylor Swift will be co-hosting with LL Cool J, and Maroon 5 will be one of the performers. Until then, any thoughts as to who might get nominated? Who really are the best new artists of the past year? Can we possibly see some lesser known (but equally talented, if not more) artists get nominated this year? Sound off!

2012 Oscar Predictions

The nominations for the Academy Awards were announced on January 24th, celebrating the best in film of the past year. Well, best according to the producers, actors, writers, directors, etc. who make up the Academy. Not to mention there’s a really long process as to determine the nominees for Best Picture (you can read about it here, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly’s writers). Seeing as how I didn’t get this post up in a timely manner (as in the day of the nominations), I figured I might as well make my predictions to go along with my thoughts on this year’s nominees. Hugo leads the pack with 11 nominations, followed closely by The Artist with 10 nominations.

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

It was certainly surprising to hear Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close being nominated, as it seems critics and audiences weren’t very kind to it in terms of reviews and box office revenues. Granted, before the movie came out there was the idea that the movie would be an Oscar contender, but that was before. Also, it seems that every year (or at least since the Academy expanded the number of nominees from 5) there’s at least one movie that makes it, which causes everyone to say “REALLY?” The rest were either locks for nominations or were expected to be nominated. I really wish though that the final installment of the Harry Potter series had been nominated, just as a cap to the whole series, but that’s not to say that I wasn’t entirely shocked that it wasn’t.

Unlike the past two years, I didn’t watch all the nominated movies. I got through 7 out of the 9 movies, and that was barely getting through The Tree of Life. I just couldn’t bring myself to watch War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I wasn’t even the least bit interested in seeing it. And this is coming from the fact that I sat through Winter’s Bone last year, and A Serious Man the year before.

As for predicting who will win, at this point, odds are in The Artist‘s favour. It has won the most “precursors” if you will, so it has got a lot of momentum going for it. Personally, I’d rather not see The Artist win (not that it wasn’t a good movie) but as happens most years, I always find myself rooting for a movie that isn’t the frontrunner. I like underdogs. Last year, it was a toss up between The King’s Speech and The Social Network, with the edge going to TKS. But I loved TSN, so I was really hoping it would win (obviously it didn’t). The year before, with everyone going on about how it was between Avatar and The Hurt Locker for the win, I was all “Screw that! I want Inglorious Basterds or Up In the Air to win!” This year, I’d really like it if The Help won – such a wonderful movie with great acting all around.

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Most surprising is that The Help‘s Tate Taylor didn’t get nominated, instead Malick took his place. It’s hard to decide who should win in this category. The frontrunner in the category is Hazanavicius – I mean a silent movie, in this day and age? It was crazy talk, but it worked.

Best Actor
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

I still can’t believe that this is the first time Gary Oldman has been nominated for an Oscar. But without a doubt, the race is between George Clooney and Jean Dujardin. It’s so hard to choose because both performances were great. I mean Clooney has really never been better, but at the same time, Dujardin conveyed so many emotions without saying anything. I think I’m going to have to give the edge to Clooney.

Best Actress
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Prior to awards season truly kicking in, there was talk that Elizabeth Olsen might get in for her performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene, which I think would’ve been great. She was absolutely amazing in that movie. Alas, that was all talk. I’ll admit that I’ve only seen The Help out of the 5 performances, so that makes me biased a little bit. But you know what? I don’t care, Viola Davis absolutely deserves the win. I know Meryl Streep is LEGEND, but Davis’ performance was incredible.

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Christopher Plummer has been the winner all awards season, so there’s no doubt that he’s going to win the Oscar as well. I’ll say this though, how funny is it that we’re going to be seeing “Academy Award Nominee Jonah Hill” on movie ads from now on? I mean who woulda thunk it?

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

There’s some reservations that both Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer are nominated for The Help, which may lead to votes being cancelled out. But Spencer’s totally got the win – like Plummer for Supporting Actor, she’s won every other award this season.

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Midnight in Paris might not stand much of a chance in winning the top prize, but Woody Allen sure as hell is winning here.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, Moneyball
Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The way I see it, I can only really judge this category if I’ve read both the book and seen the movie – I haven’t read any of the original books and only saw 3 of the nominated films. Surprisingly, the screenplay for The Help wasn’t nominated, which REALLY doesn’t bode well for its Best Picture chances, but hey, weirder things have happened at the awards. Aaron Sorkin did the same thing with Moneyball, as he did with The Social Network – that is turn a subject/book that could’ve been really boring under the wrong hands, and co-wrote a screenplay that kept you interested regardless of whether you know baseball or not. Unfortunately, seeing as how Sorkin did just win last year for TSN, I don’t think he’s going to repeat. Chances are the writers of The Descendants are going to take it.

Best Animated Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

For the first time in what feels like forever, a Pixar movie (Cars 2) didn’t get nominated, which means anything goes this year. Seeing as how The Adventures of Tintin didn’t get nominated, I think Rango‘s going to win.

Music (Original Score)
The Adventures of Tintin, John Williams
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
Hugo, Howard Shore
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alberto Iglesias
War Horse, John Williams

How did John Williams get nominated twice, leaving Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and also last year’s winners) out of the race? For the fact that The Artist is a silent movie, making the score all the more important, I really do feel that Ludovic Bource will win.

Music (Original Song)
“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown, and Siedah Garrett

2 nominees? That’s it? I don’t know what to say about it really, but between the two, Bret McKenzie should win. It’s the Muppets after all!

Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Let Harry Potter win this please! A series ending, compilation win! I will admit though that the effects for Hugo were pretty incredible, not to mention the work at creating the apes of Rise. But seriously. Harry Potter!

The Oscars air on ABC, this Sunday Feb. 26th at 8:00 P.M. Billy Crystal hosts.